Madera superintendent asks parents to discuss racism with children in emotional video

Madera Unified School Superintendent Todd Lile made an emotional plea to the parents in his district during a heartfelt video message posted online.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Madera Unified School Superintendent Todd Lile made an emotional plea to the parents in his district during a heartfelt video message posted online on Tuesday.

Lile asked parents to talk with their children about the recent protests following the death of George Floyd, some of which have turned violent, and racial injustice in the United States.

"I'm really hoping that you're remembering to have these courageous conversations because in your home, you give the gift of a new generation of hope in the world, and you get to shape that," he said.

RELATED: Tips for parents about talking to kids about race and racism following the death of George Floyd

Lile said the district began an initiative about a year ago to increase outreach to its students, and teachers, who felt unheard and were surprised by the response.

He said they would continue to hear their students' voices to help implement change in their district.

Lile reflected on his own teachers who discussed racism and his friends who have faced inequality. And when his own children asked about the protests, he decided to sit down and tell them what sparked them.

Lile got emotional when discussing his children's' reactions saying, "I found my 12-year-old laying on the floor, in silence, in his bedroom, and he just got out his Martin Luther King book and his Jackie Robinson book, and he was trying to understand."

He concluded saying equity work matters to the district and encouraged parents to talk about it with their children to move toward making a difference.

Watch Superintendent Todd Lile's full message below:

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Watch Superintendent Todd Lile's full message here.

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